Thursday, August 13, 2015
The Grand Ballroom of the Omni William Penn Hotel
Event Director: Lauren Pesce
Event Assistants: Laura Weyand, Emma Thompson, Miranda Waters
Photography: Steven Dray Images
Edited by: Rachel Jones + Andrea Bosco Stehle
Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest represent 50 of the city’s most accomplished men and women for their charitable dedication, community involvement, and success in their careers. Each honoree has committed to raising at least $3,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation with the help of family, friends, and co-workers. Honorees also organized events throughout the City of Pittsburgh to add to their fundraising goals. As we celebrate the 20th anniversary, these 50 honorees continue to set the bar high with their undeniable passion to fundraise and drive to make a difference. Together, they hope to raise $400,000 for the Foundation’s life-saving mission. Read on to see what the Class of 2015 has in store for their future endeavors!
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the world’s leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis (CF). With the Foundation’s support of innovative research and care, real progress toward finding a cure has been made. The Foundation continues to add tomorrows for those living with the disease. All proceeds raised by Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest help to support vital CF research, medical, and educational programs.
Donations can be made directly to the individual honorees at finest.cff.org/activity/50finest or by contacting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
$75 ($39 tax deductible)*
Dress: Black Tie Optional
*Tickets will not be sold at the door. Ticket price includes pasta and carving stations, salad, bread, and dessert. Four complimentary beverages are also included with each ticket, courtesy of Frank B. Further Wholesale Co. and Clique Vodka. Proceeds benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest 2015 Committee:
James Mendelson, Chairman • Doug Austin • Jennifer Belavic • Missie Cekus • Lauren Cerqua • Justin Davis • Linda Ferraro • Brian Henciak • Chad Irving • Dominic Janidas • Angela Kinney • Mark Miller • Frank Murgia • Cyndi Nace • Evan Perilstein • Gina Rendina • Jason Sample • Allison Saras
THE 50 FINEST
01. Kathy King Lalor
Kathy King Lalor proved that it is never too late to follow your dreams. She originally earned her bachelor’s in fashion merchandising at Point Park University. Then, years later, she decided to return to school and receive certification as a nutritional therapist. As a mother, Kathy realized the importance of leading by example, which made creating her own career that much more important. She has recently completed her certification as an eating psychology coach and is currently launching her own coaching business. Kathy is an unofficial “Pittsburgh Ambassador” because of her undeniable love for the city. In her free time, she enjoys the playful pursuit of seeking out the best in food and drink the city has to offer. Some of the many local charities Kathy is affiliated with include the Fox Chapel Area School District, The Neighborhood Academy, and Family Resources of Western PA. She financially supports the Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, The Children’s Home, and KidsVoice on an annual basis.
Top Supporters: Nadia Salon
02. Richard Ward
As the first in his family to earn a college degree, Richard Ward continues to pursue life-long dreams as he advances in his career. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Pennsylvania State University, which led him to opening his own practice: Capital Configuration, LLC. Richard serves as the co-chair of the Emerging CPA Committee and is a newly inducted member of the Executive Committee within the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Accountants (PICPA). Through the PICPA, Richard enjoys dedicating fundraising efforts to a different charity each year through events like happy hours, golf outings, and holiday parties. Richard has selected to raise awareness for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation the past two years. His role as a leader is prominent in all organizations he is involved with, including his past position as director of student membership services for the Pittsburgh Chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA).
Top Supporters: Matt Gebis (Espresso-A-Mano), Jane Famili (Steel Revolution), Donald and Sylvia Robinson, Capital Configuration, LLC., Julia Kramer, Financial Peace for You!
03. Autumn Pividori
Ever since she was a little girl, Autumn Pividori envisioned being the first lawyer in her family. She learned that hard work pays off after earning a bachelor of arts in communication and political science from the University of Pittsburgh, which brought her a step closer to a professional career. Last year, she finally fulfilled her childhood dream when she received her Juris Doctor from Duquesne University School of Law and was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar this past fall. Autumn is currently an associate for Burns White, working as a part of the Medicare Compliance Group. While her participation with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is a new experience, her passion for giving back to the community is not. She has been involved with various organizations over the years, including Family House; “Dog Jog” for Animal Rescue League Shelter & Wildlife Center; and the Jessica L. Kurnocik Charitable Foundation, which is an organization created in honor of her childhood friend who passed away from cancer. Autumn’s humble personality and love of running has her working toward her next mission: raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for next year’s DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon.
Top Supporters: Burns White, Family and Friends
04. Erica Altmiller
Erica Altmiller can be found in the stands of any sporting event, cheering on some of Pittsburgh’s beloved teams. Erica’s passionate and social personality helped her soar to success upon graduating from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a degree in hotel restaurant management. She now works as a financial representative for Luther Financial Group, where her love of helping clients helped her earn the Client Builder Award in 2014. With a successful and promising career under her belt, she is constantly trying to give back to her community including donations to the Salvation Army, Animal Rescue League Shelter & Wildlife Center, and PetSmart Charities. Erica hopes to follow her cousin, Donnie Miller, who was a part of the 2014 class of Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest, and is excited to support a great cause.
Top Supporters: Family and Friends
05. Joe Gizoni
Joe Gizoni grew up in Oakdale, Pa., where he earned his degree in business administration at Westminster College. Out of school, he followed a career opportunity to Houston, where he lived for three years. Joe’s driven personality led him back to his hometown, and he now works as a sales representative for A.C. Dellovade, Inc. Being back in Pittsburgh has made him realize the good things the city has to offer that he once took for granted. From its close and thriving restaurant scene, to the professional sports teams, Joe enjoys being in the center of it all. In his spare time, he enjoys attending all Pittsburgh sporting events, especially Steelers games. When he is not watching his beloved teams, he enjoys playing golf with friends and hunting. Although he’s proud of his past and current accomplishments, Joe strives for an even brighter future.
Top Supporters: Deborah Zierden, A.C. Dellovade, Family and Friends
06. Jessica Ferragonio
After earning a bachelor of arts in communication rhetoric from the University of Pittsburgh, Jessica Ferragonio worked for consumer and pharmaceutical advertising agencies in both Pittsburgh and Northern New Jersey. Yearning for a different kind of fulfillment, Jessica followed her passion to pursue a career inspiring the youth of our future and made the decision to return to graduate school. Jessica obtained a master of education in health and physical education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania while simultaneously maintaining full-time employment in her previous field. Upon completing her masters, Jessica accepted a full-time teaching position in the Leechburg Area School District. As a devoted educator, Jessica serves as a member of Leechburg’s Core Team in the Student Assistance Program (SAP) and is also a certified instructor in Automatic Critical Incident Response Tactics (ACIRT), where she helps to educate school districts on how to maintain a safe environment for students during a time of potential threat. Jessica coaches several sports, including basketball, soccer, and swimming. Outside of the classroom Jessica remains extremely active. This year, she completed her second UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon and enjoys spending her free time running at the Schenley Park Oval.
Top Supporters: L.S. Sadler Inc., Circolo Woodfired, Sampson Family YMCA, Family and Friends
07. Phil Laboon
As the owner and founder of Eyeflow Internet Marketing, entrepreneur Phil Laboon managed to transform the company that started from his basement into a digital marketing agency. Over its 14 years of existence, Eyeflow Internet Marketing has continued to assert itself into the industry with its approach to helping businesses of all shapes grow their online footprint and strengthen their digital brands, creating strategies and software to help clients build their brand into an authority both on and off the web. Despite continually being named one of the fastest growing companies in Pittsburgh, Phil always seeks out ways to expand business and offer his clients well-rounded services, while playing an active role as both a leader and mentor in the bustling tech startup community. Currently, Phil serves as president of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Young Entrepreneur Council, putting his knowledge and years of experience in the startup industry to good use by helping open new doors of opportunity for his peers.
Top Supporters: Chris Weck, Sinful Sweets, Cyndi Nace
08. Danielle White
Danielle White is a local entrepreneur and founder of Dnwhite Enterprises, owning Fox’s Pizza locations in Robinson, Carnegie, and Bridgeville. Alongside her many business ventures, Danielle is also the co-founder of FitPrints screen-printing. She showcases her love of fundraising and giving back through every professional outlet. A few times a month, Danielle supports any charity she can by donating a total of 500 pizzas from each location in support of those raising awareness locally. As a group fitness instructor at LA Fitness, Danielle knows how to bring the fun along with getting classmates involved. Allowing participants to donate by choosing a song during spin class and having the class sing during exercise were just some of the unique ways Danielle raised money for an event for those battling cancer. After 11 years of contributions to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, this is the year she hopes to give the most back to the Foundation. Danielle is excited to make many more connections through CF events, as well as encourage her friends and family to become involved.
Top Supporters: Downey’s House, Fox’s Pizza
09. Gretchen Dimeling
Born and raised in the Steel City, Gretchen Dimeling has a passion for improving patient care and access to medication through technology and innovation. After pursuing her degree at the University of Miami and studying for a year in Mexico City, Gretchen went to work for the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force, where she implemented strategic initiatives to enhance patient care. Her work with in-patient programs lead to the opportunity to manage commercial access to care programs at Genentech. This role was incredibly rewarding, as Gretchen was able to drive commercial value through the support of patients, families, and health care professionals battling serious illnesses. Upon the acquisition of Genentech by Roche Pharmaceutical, Gretchen moved to Switzerland to work in the global corporate headquarters. After a tremendous experience living abroad, Gretchen returned to Pittsburgh in 2013. She enjoys working for Mylan, spending time with her family and friends, and serving as the head of new membership for the Pittsburgh Young Professionals organization. Gretchen looks forward to developing and sustaining a young professional community in the Pittsburgh area.
Top Supporters: Dimeling & Company, Circolo Woodfired, Doc Mendelson, Fuhrer Distributing, DiBella’s Subs, Family and Friends
10. Joel Acie
Joel Acie demonstrated his strong leadership through higher education by being the first of nine siblings to earn a degree. His time at Robert Morris University and most recently at Carnegie Mellon University inspired his other siblings to earn degrees through the same hard work, dedication, and faith he upheld while pursuing a career in supplier diversity. This has led to his career as the MWDBE Projects Manager at UPMC. As an active participant with the Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council (EMSDC), he aims to ensure that the local minority-owned businesses within the tri-state area utilize the Council to become certified, so that organizations like UPMC may provide access to purchasing opportunities to fulfill strategic business needs. Joel’s commitment to helping businesses has extended to fundraising events — such as golf outings, awards galas, and regional business quarterly meetings — in order to help minority-owned businesses to not just survive, but also thrive. Throughout his career, Joel hopes to improve the vitality of the Pittsburgh region to allow families to continue to call this place home.
Top Supporters: UPMC, 84 Lumber, Clark Resources, KORYAK Consulting, Checklist Cleaning Services, Toni Silva, Lisa Acie, Roderick Craighead, Jr.
11. Anthony Judice
Although Anthony Judice grew up in the far suburbs of Pittsburgh, he has a strong connection with the city he has called his home for almost a decade. Working through every obstacle on his journey to a law degree, he proved that hard work can create a positive pathway through tough times. Anthony earned his bachelor’s degree in law and policy from Dickinson College, which led to him receiving a Juris Doctor from Duquesne University School of Law. Anthony is currently an associate at the Pittsburgh office of Gordon & Rees LLP, and is part of the Commercial Litigation and Real Estate practice groups. His energy is focused in law the area of oil and gas, but he also plans on taking everything he has learned and using it to help others realize their goals and support them as they reach their highest potential in life. When he has spare time, Anthony enjoys attending concerts and sporting events, but is most passionate about animals, which is epitomized through his love of his dog, Ruxin. As he settles into his dream career, he looks forward to the opportunity to continue to give back to those around him.
Top Supporters: LuAnn and Tom Judice, Gordon & Rees LLP, Family and Friends
12. Addie Perkins
During her time at Pennsylvania State University, Addie Perkins earned her bachelor’s in psychology and made a lasting impact on her community. Even after her time at Penn State, she remains involved by donating to THON and the Penn State Alumni Association. Addie works as the social media and music coordinator for American Eagle Outfitters (AEO), where her passion for giving does not fall short. She partners with the AEO Foundation to help spread awareness and encourage support for the company’s beliefs. Family and friends play a huge part in her life, and she enjoys playing on the local kickball team in her free time. No matter the disease or issue at hand, Addie does not hesitate to help those in need. Whether she is supporting a team to help raise money for suicide awareness or encouraging her friends to get involved with bettering the community, Addie continues to reach the goals she sets for herself. Addie looks forward to continuing her support of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in honor of her neighbor’s child who is living with cystic fibrosis.
Top Supporters: Kit and Peter Perkins, Dave Short, Bill Simpson, Jean Potter, Bob Feldman
13. Jonathan Thomas
Whether it is marketing, operation, or management, Jonathan Thomas has become a well-rounded businessman through his work as vice president and part owner of CASTE, LLC. After starting his company in 2009, Jonathan has come to know and love running a small business while turning it into a single, successful entity. Jonathan is an avid golfer, and won five club championships at the Pittsburgh Field Club, where he holds a volunteer leadership role on the Grounds Committee. Jon maintains an active lifestyle by playing soccer, paddle tennis, and kickball on local recreational teams. He is a die-hard Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates fan. Jonathan is excited to volunteer his time to help give back to the city that has played a huge part in making him who he is today. He currently lives with his golden retriever, Hogan, who is adored for his endearing personality and for saving a neighbor’s cat.
Top Supporters: Mom, Dad, Heather, Meghan, CASTE LLC, Friends
14. Sara Ruth
Sara Ruth graduated from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania with a communication design degree, concentrating in graphic and advertising design. Her enthusiastic, entrepreneurial spirit has allowed her the opportunities to guide small businesses of varying industries in the Pittsburgh area through their brand creation and expansion phases. Through her work with Pittsburgh’s small business community, Sara has supported Animal Friends, Western PA Humane Society, Animal Rescue League Shelter & Wildlife Center, Perfect Fit Canines, Pennsylvania Great Dane Rescue, Ladies Hospital Aid Society, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Sara is now channeling the multi-faceted experience she’s gained toward her new business venture: Fame15 Creative — a full-service boutique marketing and branding agency. Sara and Fame15 Creative co-founder Laura Early help small businesses and charity organizations reach their unique expansion goals. Sara’s dedication to fundraising will continue her drive for change in the future.
Top Supporters: Fame15 Creative, LOCALpittsburgh, Beitler Logistics, Charles Hammel, Flower Pots Landscaping, The Summit, The Pennsylvanian, Static Nightclub, Palmer Productions Imaging, Family and Friends
15. Joerose Tharakan
Joerose Tharakan is best described as someone constantly in search of new stories. Hailing from the City of Cochin in Southern India, Joerose came to the U.S. to pursue her undergraduate studies at Colby College in Maine. Following a year abroad at The London School of Economics and a stint at Nomura International in London on their European credit desk, Joerose returned to the U.S. to earn her MBA at Yale’s School of Management. Upon graduating, she joined Microsoft Corporation. For the past few years, she has enjoyed the diversity of opinions and lives encountered here, and collected many more fascinating stories. She was drawn to CFF because she sees the fundraising model as a nice confluence of impact towards a cure, new connections, and creative programming for the city. She enjoys travel and theater, and is passionate about enabling access to education. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Colby College and Ivy Child International, and is an active volunteer with St. Paul’s Cathedral and Mario Lemieux Make Room for Kids campaign.
Top Supporters: Microsoft, Friends and Family, Circolo Woodfired, DiBella’s, Alihan’s, Giovanni’s Pizza
16. Anne Marie Brnardic
Anne Marie Brnardic, a college athlete who earned her degree in business marketing and management at Chatham University, continues the tireless work ethic that her grandparents embodied when they came over from Croatia to start the family business. As the office manager at Brnardic Corp., she works alongside her family to carry on the success of the once small business. Anne Marie actively participates in many athletic events in order to fundraise for various charities. She has completed a 5K for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, as well as committed time to Relay For Life, the Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh, Make-a-Wish, and the West Deer Dog Shelter. Anne Marie enjoys the year-round fan base for the Pirates, Steelers, Penguins, and college athletic games, where she can appreciate the fan loyalty and the stunning Pittsburgh skyline.
Top Supporters: Doug Austin, Brnardic Corp., Midnight Blue Technology Services, Ladies of Charity, Transfiguration Roman Catholic Church, BNI Connect – Local Business, PA Southwestern (Pittsburgh), Go Givers Shadyside Chapter
17. Michael Delie
As the father of two boys, Michael Delie continues to raise his sons to have a strong moral compass and to understand the importance of being an active member in the community through local groups. Michael graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and is now the CEO of Delie Commercial Finance and a partner at IFS Advisors. As a Pittsburgh native, Michael enjoys attending sporting events, especially Steelers games. He does not hesitate to enjoy what the city has to offer and enjoys many local events, including Wine Fest. As the president elect of the Rotary Club of Pittsburgh Northside, he helps provide support to various charities, as well as fund annual scholarships for the Northside Leadership Conference. His continued commitment to public service through his leadership roles allow for his continued support of the Salvation Army and participation in its Red Kettle drive and Project Bundle-Up.
Top Supporters: Southwest Hotel Management Inc., The Forza Group, Citizen Bank, S&T Bank, IFS Advisors
18. Bill Miller
After attending the University of Richmond and gaining degrees in both accounting and leadership studies, Bill Miller started his professional career with Deloitte as an external auditor. After three years, he decided to focus his work toward a smaller company, EverPower, where he now works in its finance department. His responsibilities include project finance, strategic planning, and valuations for the company’s wind projects. Bill sees the importance of a balanced energy portfolio for our area’s future. Bill decided to take on his next challenge alongside his cousin where they plan to donate to local charities, pledging to run 50 races before she turns 50 years old. When he’s not running, playing soccer, or spending time with family or friends, Bill can be seen organizing events through his involvement with Young Professionals in Energy (YPE) and the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG). No matter what organization Bill looks to support, he hopes to stay connected and become a leader in our city.
Top Supporters: EverPower Wind Holdings, Blackburn’s Pharmacy, Family and Friends
19. Emma Fazio
Upon graduating from Clarion University, Emma Fazio stepped out of her comfort zone to move from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh and put her degree in human resources and business management to the test. Her hard work paid off, as she worked her way up to her current position of a human resources manager at SDLC Partners. Emma is also proudly affiliated with the Pittsburgh Human Resources Association (PHRA) since completing her Professional in Human Resources certification earlier this year. Her most recent volunteer experience at UPMC Magee Woman’s Hospital helped her realize how much of a difference one person can make to better someone’s life. She continued her volunteering efforts and raised funds for Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC when she ran her first half marathon in 2014. Emma has been inspired by the efforts made by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and showed her support by attending various fundraisers that were held by the organization in the past year. She hopes to continue to make a difference with her positive attitude, determination, and generosity. Emma attributes her loving spirit to her friends and family who continuously inspire her to make a difference.
Top Supporters: Fazio Productions, SDLC Partners, Linda Ferraro, Friends and Family (Mom, Dad, Brandon, Hannah, Abby, and Madeline Fazio)
20. Chuck Mattiucci
Chuck Mattiucci earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Pennsylvania State University. Chuck is a financial advisor for Fragasso Financial Advisors, where he has the opportunity to make an impact on people’s lives by helping them develop a holistic financial plan that allows them to focus on enjoying their lives. Within his career, Chuck has contributed to local charities within the company, including The Homeless Children’s Education Fund, Animal Friends, and the Veterans Association. Some of the honorable organizations Chuck is affiliated with include the Financial Planning Association, United Way, and the Pittsburgh Society of Investment Professionals. When he is not working hard to assist the lives of others, Chuck enjoys spending time with his family and showing his support for Pittsburgh sports teams, especially the Pirates. Chuck also enjoys staying active by playing golf and keeping up with his regular exercise routine.
Top Supporters: Fragrasso Financial Advisors, One on One Fitness, Advanced Living Options
21. Marcus Morelli
Local filmmaker and YouTube professional Marcus Morelli maintains ambitious goals and a heavy heart as he focuses his love of film and giving back to help a close friend during her fight with cystic fibrosis (CF). Back in June of 2013, Marcus met Heather Hunter, who has been suffering from CF since a very young age. Since meeting, he has produced three short films that all helped raise awareness for the disease and has raised over $3,000 for Heather to help alleviate some of her financial and emotional burdens. As the president and CEO of Skene 19 Films, Marcus works as a director, cinematographer, and editor for projects he aims to give back to the community. His involvement with local charities is always expanding through his work with Habitat for Humanity, American Heart Association, and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, among others. Marcus’ filmmaking success continues into 2015 with hopes of contributing a documentary to Travel Channel and beginning his first feature film.
Top Supporters: Tuscano Insurance Agency, Aestique Plastic Surgery & Medispa, Headkeeper Tapas Bar, Complete Chiropractic Health, Achella Design, Four Seasons Brewing Company, 84 Lumber
22. Matthew Celin
After spending his college years in Worcester, Mass., to pursue a degree at the College of the Holy Cross, Matthew Celin worked at Craig-Hallum Capital Group in Minneapolis, Minn., for three and a half years. He recently moved back to the Pittsburgh area, joining Incline Equity Partners in January 2015, and applied to participate in the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as part of his effort to make a greater personal contribution to the world and to others. Through the Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Team’s “Crusaders for Kids” program, he and his teammates acted as mentors to underprivileged elementary school students in the Worcester area, engaging students in after-school activities, such as bowling, minor league hockey games, and even homework sessions.
Top Supporters: Family and Friends
23. Lindsay McIntosh
A proud former Nittany Lion, Lindsay McIntosh graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor’s degree in energy, business, and finance. This finance professional worked her way up to her current position at BNY Mellon as the US Payroll Tax Supervisor. Lindsay is currently the co-chair of the Corporate Advisory Committee for Pennsylvania Women Work, where she dedicates time to empowering women through job readiness, emotional growth, education, training, and employment services. She strives to give back to her community even with her passion for running. She completes at least 10 races a year with three half marathons and three full marathons under her belt. Lindsay ran in honor of a family member who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis and raised funds in sponsorships benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for both the 2014 and 2015 DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathons. When she is not working or running, you can find her in the stands at Penguins, Pirates, and Steelers games.
Top Supporters: PA Women Work, Lapiana Chiropractic, Family and Friends
24. Stephen Abrams
Stephen Abrams learned the value of giving back to the community from his parents at an early age. While earning his degree in business from George Washington University, Stephen spent two and a half years working for Apple Inc. This is where he learned the importance of excellence in service. He transformed these skills and knowledge into a prominent financial planning practice with Luttner Financial Group, where his dreams of being an entrepreneur finally came true. Stephen took his love of sports to another level by joining the board of the Steel City Softball League. Additionally, he has also helped facilitate his father’s mission to create the Grateful Nations Veterans Foundation, which provides support and advice for active and former military men and women. As a young professional, Stephen is excited about his career, allowing him to help people achieve financial independence and continue to challenge traditional financial thinking.
Top Supporters: Brothers Landscaping, Matthew Metosky/Wagner Insurance Agency, Family and Friends
25. Celina Pompeani
At only 23 years old, Celina Pompeani proves she is a force to be reckoned with in the television industry. In her junior year at Point Park University, Celina was hired at WTOV9 in Steubenville, Ohio, where she worked full time as a news reporter and weekend anchor, all while balancing a full schedule of classes. With a jumpstart into her career, Celina assumed her dream position as a television host with the Pittsburgh Penguins only two years after graduation. Celina enjoys the energetic lifestyle and social atmosphere of Pittsburgh while hitting all of the new, hip restaurants that Downtown has to offer. She recently started volunteering at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, and it has changed her for the better. Her drive and determination has her looking forward to contributing to the efforts of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Top Supporters: Bob and Lisa Pompeani; Family and Friends; Bob Toth; Sy Holzer, president and CEO of PNC Bank; Bruce Pompeani; Dr. and Mrs. Alex Horchak; Annette and Dave Condeluci; Dr. and Mrs. Stanley Marks; Mr. Davos Burstin; Bea DeRose
26. Chelsea Pompeani
Chelsea Pompeani knew at any early age that she wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps and pursue a career in television. After four years at Point Park University, Chelsea was another step closer to her dream by graduating with a degree in broadcast communications. Through internships and years of practice, she was offered her very first position from WJET, Erie’s local television station. Chelsea proves her “go-getter” attitude, as she undergoes a complete career change as the public affairs director for AAA East Central. Through her time traveling, Chelsea knew that her ultimate goal was to make a difference in the lives of others. She has contributed over 200 hours of community service and constantly devotes her time to Animal Friends, where she helps exercise pets and looks to find them a forever home. As Chelsea takes her next steps toward giving back, she plans to spend more time in the city where the skyline continues to take her breath away.
Top Supporters: Bob and Lisa Pompeani, Mr. and Mrs. Bob Crown, Dr. and Mrs. William Follansbee, Dr. and Mrs. Neal Fanelli, the Hardy Family, the Magerko Family, Nemacolin Woodlands, 84 Lumber
27. Dennis Cestra Jr.
Fox Chapel native Dennis Cestra Jr. is a graduate of Allegheny College with a bachelor’s in political science. As a recent graduate from Georgetown University, Dennis is putting his master’s in real estate to good use, as a principal of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. Giving back to the community is a passion that was instilled in him by his grandmother. She taught him and his family that service to one’s community should not be for personal betterment, but for the betterment of the community as a whole. Dennis recently received the honor of serving as a delegate at the One Young World Summit, where they honor young leaders from around the world and empower them to develop solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues. Dennis is proudly affiliated with the National Association of Realtors, Howard Hanna Children’s Free Care Fund, and is a board member for Bethlehem Haven.
Top Supporters: Howard Hanna Real Estate Services
28. Madison O’Neill
With a dual major in corporate communications and entrepreneurship, a strong network, and positive attitude, Madison O’Neill has dedicated her life to sharing her passion for health and fitness with her community. She took on a full course load during school, while teaching four to six classes a week at The Studio Sewickley as a TRX and BarreAmped instructor. She currently works for the Perfect Boutique as a sales representative and a social media manager. Madison’s love for helping others started at a young age by participating in fundraisers and walks for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Her parents proved to be great role models for this young entrepreneur. Her dedication to CFF has led to a charity barre class event that raised $4,000, and collecting donations and creating raffle baskets for the Passion for Wine event that takes place in November. The disease hits home for Madison, as she stands by her neighbor’s side, which fuels her fire to help find a cure and conquer cystic fibrosis.
Top Supporters: Synergetics, Mediterra Bakehouse, The Studio Sewickley
29. David Speer
Duquesne University graduate David Speer believes that standing out and making a good first impression is the key to being an up-and-coming professional. Earning a degree in business administration was the first step of fulfilling his lifelong dream of owning and operating his own successful business. He achieved the dream as the founder of David Alan Company, where he created a product known as the Proper Knot ™. He brought his vision to life to create a unique men’s accessory that “breaks the mold of the everyday man” with the first interchangeable necktie knot, which allows men to customize their wardrobes. Through much success, David remains very humble and continues to grow his business and his life in Pittsburgh — a city that he believes stands for resilience, determination, and most importantly, heart.
Top Supporters: David Alan Company, David Delallo, Steven Russo, Tim Stauffer, Upper Saint Clair High School
30. Dr. Jennifer Wildpret
“Doing good and helping others is what life is all about.” These are the words that Dr. Jennifer Wildpret hopes to live by each day in memory of her father who lost his battle with prostate cancer. Her father exemplified these exact words by starting up the Bob’s Wish — Globes of Hope foundation in hopes of raising awareness for men fighting aggressive and non-aggressive forms of prostate cancer. As a board member, secretary, and social media manager of the foundation, Jen continues the efforts made by her father to ensure that “no one fights alone.” After completing 14 years of both schooling and training at Bethany College, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, and Wake Forest Baptist Hospital, Jen works as a child and adolescent psychiatrist at PBS Mental Health Associates. Here, she enjoys helping others every day of her working life. After her move to the Steel City, she did not hesitate to submerge herself in the many activities the city has to offer. Jen has enjoyed season tickets to the Pirates and completed her first UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon in dedication to cystic fibrosis this past May. Jennifer proves that her opportunities are limitless as she continues to support charities everywhere.
Top Supporters: Bob’s Wish – Globes of Hope, Dr.’s Ira and Peg Handler, Dr. and Mrs. John and Judy Soffietti, Joan Wildpret, Amy Hammonds, Rich Zovich, Dr.’s Kelly and Darin DeNamur
31. Alexander Guminski
Determination and persistence are two qualities that Alexander Guminski has possessed throughout his life. He spent eight years of his academic career at the University of Pittsburgh where he earned his Juris Doctor. After being admitted to both the Pennsylvania and District of Columbia Bars, Alexander now practices as an associate attorney at the Sommer Law Group, PC. His practice includes real estate, intellectual property, business, employment, personal injury, and criminal law. He takes pride in his involvement as a legal counselor and publicist for the Kid Nation Foundation. The local charity performs musical acts in elementary, high school, and colleges throughout the country, promoting the message that “being smart is cool,” as an incentive for students to maintain a higher standard of learning. Alexander is also a leader in the American-Hellenic Educational and Progressive Association (AHEPA), which is an international philanthropic organization that provides scholarships for students and athletes, fundraising for various partner charities and causes, and economic and diplomatic stability in Greece. As a self-starter who prides himself on helping others achieve their goals, there is no doubt that Alexander will change the world.
Top Supporters: Sommer Law Group, PC, CTS International, The American-Hellenic Educational and Progressive Association, Market Real Estate, Kid Nation Foundation
32. Kaitlyn Walos
As Grand Marshall of her graduating class, Kaitlyn Walos’ four years of hard work at Pennsylvania State University really paid off. After graduating with a degree in corporate communications, she was able to mold two positions at her current company into her dream job. As a client service coordinator at ROOT SPORTS Pittsburgh, her love of the game can really shine. Being in the middle of all of the action of the game is one of her favorite parts of the city as a fan. When she’s not working for some of her favorite sports teams, Kaitlyn involves herself with multiple charities including Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and local animal shelters. She also spent time in college interning for Cribs for Kids®. Now, as she settles into her career, she is eager to devote more time to more organizations!
Top Supporters: Family and Friends, ROOT SPORTS, DIRECTV, Cupka’s II, Out of a Bottle
33. Charles Reardon
Charles “CJ” Reardon took a leap of faith after he graduated with a degree in genetics from State University of New York and moved to Pittsburgh to begin a career in an unknown industry. CJ embraced the opportunities the city offers by taking on the position of the catering and sales manager for DiBella’s Subs. Within the first year, he was successful in advancing his store’s sales to No.1. In addition to CJ’s professional achievements, his career also allows him freedom to work with local charities. He is committed to providing supplies, working events, and holding campaigns for American Lung Association, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and CHP’s Free Care Fund. In his 27 years of life, CJ feels fortunate to have experienced many life-changing opportunities and hopes to help those affected by cystic fibrosis experience life to the fullest.
Top Supporters: The American Pool Association of Southwest PA, Static Night Club, Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, The Burns Family
34. Jordan Nicholas
The dream of becoming the fourth generation owner of Nicholas Coffee and Tea has become a reality for Jordan Nicholas as he continues to make a name for himself. Jordan comes from a long line of hard workers, and he has taken the business even further by adapting the trend of single serve coffee cups to the product line of the beloved hometown coffee shop. Alongside his many achievements, Jordan is a partner in the Diamond Market Bar and Grill, located in the heart of Market Square. He recently accepted a position on the leadership council for the Western District for the Alumni Board of Franklin and Marshall College, where he passionately works toward establishing a scholarship for aspiring entrepreneurs. In his spare time, Jordan enjoys golfing, traveling, and being an active member of the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church. Jordan looks forward to the opportunity to give to a disease that has affected him personally. Since his uncle lost his battle from Pulmonary Cystic Fibrosis at the age of 42, Jordan hopes to be a part of the advancements to finding a cure.
Top Supporters: Diamond Market Bar and Grill, Nicholas Coffee and Tea Company, Primanti Brothers, Dollar Bank, Quaker Steak and Lube, Perlé
35. Candace Haywood
As the first in her family to attend and complete a four-year degree, Candace Haywood continues to push the boundaries as she works as the program manager at Small Seeds Development, Inc. As a Pittsburgh native, Candace strives to make the city a better place for those in search of employment. Her design and launch of the Social Services Employment Assistance Program (SSEAP) this summer helps residents of the community attain employment opportunities. Candace’s dream of running her own life coaching business is in arm’s reach, as she recently launched candacehaywood.com, where she coaches and helps women reach their full potential. Recently, Candace also hosted a workshop with the Founder of “The Glow Effect,” where she spoke to over 40 women about self-empowerment and goal setting. As someone who believes her life’s purpose is to help others reach their full potential, Candace has dedicated herself as a member of International Women in Business. She also devotes her free time to her family by participating in the Walk for Alzheimer’s in Pittsburgh in honor of her recently departed grandmother who lived with Alzheimer’s disease.
Top Supporters: God, Bobbi Fox Inc., Disappearing Ink, Robert Morris University, Supercuts, Family and Friends
36. Erica Lombardo
After Erica Lombardo graduated from Allegheny College with honors in history, she attended Duquesne University School of Law. She earned her Juris Doctor in 2013 and is admitted to practice law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, State of West Virginia, United States District Court of Western Pennsylvania, and the Southern District Court of West Virginia. She currently is an associate at Willman & Silvaggio, LLP. As the youngest of three, Erica gives 100 percent to overcoming any obstacle in her path – whether it is preparing a case for trial or carrying sandbags up Mt. Killington. One of Erica’s passions is Spartan Racing, which is a unique, international obstacle course race that pushes its participants to their physical and mental brink. Last summer, she completed her first Trifecta with her brother by completing three of the most difficult races in the world. When she is not training for a race, Erica is active in the St. Catherine of Sweden parish as a lector and also has the privilege of serving as a core team member of the church’s youth group. Additionally, she is involved in the Allegheny County Bar Association’s Young Lawyer Division.
Top Supporters: Domenico’s Ristorante; David Sunseri; Izzazu Salon, Spa & Serata; Nappies Food Service; Oakmont Country Club
37. Allen Levine
Pittsburgh’s Allen Levine, “The Talking Machine,” is easily recognizable from his Monday and Tuesday night television shows Pittsburgh Sportsline. Since its founding in 2011 on BPTV, Allen has been promoting local charities and fundraisers on his shows. He recently added the Joey Fabus Childhood Cancer Foundation to each of his weekly shows, plus a monthly “Jazz n’ Sports” show with Jessica Lee’s Jazz and Blue’s. He supports many organizations, including the local Alzheimer’s Association and the ALS Association. Allen was asked to join and help the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Directors United Way Committee, where his department was the only one to donate 100 percent online to the United Way. Additionally, some of the many organizations Allen is affiliated with include Pittsburgh Small Business Owners, Building Bridges for Business, Network Pittsburgh, Media Association of Pittsburgh, and Marketing Pittsburgh Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University.
Top Sponsors: Joel Pirchesky, CEO, president, and founder of One World Blue, LLC; Zach Brenner, CEO and founder of Brenner Contracting; Ed Butch Bechtold; Casey Levine; Family and Friends
38. Adam Endrai
Originally from the “Rock and Roll Capital of the World,” Adam Endrai was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. After earning his bachelor’s degree in business administration at The University of Toledo, Adam moved to Wilmington, N.C. After three years in The Carolinas, Adam was transferred to Pennsylvania. Adam now resides in Wexford, Pa. He is an account executive for The 3M Company covering Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, West Virginia, and Maryland. Since Adam started with 3M nine years ago, he has demonstrated his drive for success and leadership through organizing, planning, and directing the Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland/Pittsburgh 3M Charity Days and the 3M Mentoring Program. This past May, Adam completed his first UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon. As he continues to lead with integrity, Adam works to inspire his family, friends, and colleagues. Adam is passionate about helping others achieve their goals and challenges them to achieve their vision of success.
39. Maura Massucci
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Maura Massucci has let the world become her home as she traveled her way through college to become the well-rounded professional she is today. Whether studying abroad in Rome or residing in New York City, she learned there was no pride like Pittsburgh pride. Maura’s strong work ethic and undeniable desire to help those in need is truly admirable as she continues to advance in her career in optometry. This past year, Maura opened up her own business called Massucci Vision Plus, which allows her to provide vision services above and beyond a “regular eye exam.” She earned her Fellowship with College of Optometrists in Vision Development, spending the past 11 years learning from the top optometrists in the country to provide the best possible care for her patients with concussions, learning-related vision problems, and special needs. Maura enjoys mentoring future optometry students in Pittsburgh.
Top Supporters: Massucci Vision Plus, Massucci Builders Inc., Lindsay Jack, Family and Friends
40. John Palermo
John Palermo is an alum of Elon University, where he earned his degree in accounting. John works hard to continue to build the business his father started 32 years ago. As an accountant for Palermo/Kissinger & Assoc. CPA, he believes that small businesses are the backbone of America. With the opportunity to grow his family business, he will be able to give back to the community that has made him the person he is today. As a self-proclaimed handy man, John invested time and hard work into two rental properties, which he renovated himself, as well as managing his career at Palermo/Kissinger & Associates. After spending a year in Vail, Colo., John enjoys all things outdoors and will travel to great lengths to cheer on his Pittsburgh Penguins. As he works toward completing the CPA Exam, John looks forward to investing more of his free time into professional organizations to jumpstart his philanthropic work.
Top Supporters: Palermo/Kissinger & Associates, CPA., Palermo Family, John Hobart Miller Family, Family and Friends
41. Caroline McCarthy
Caroline McCarthy was born, raised, and educated in Pittsburgh, and is now pursuing her professional career in the city she knows and loves. Caroline has demonstrated the strong work ethic and passion for greatness of her hometown throughout both academic and professional aspects of her life. After earning a degree in finance at the University of Pittsburgh, Caroline accepted a position in sales with Konica Minolta. Caroline has recently decided to channel her skills in sales by joining her father, George McCarthy, who is the owner and CEO of Associates Benefit Corporation, where she will work as an insurance broker. Caroline has recently been selected for the Junior League of Pittsburgh, a league that prides itself on providing effective volunteer service and support during community needs. She looks forward to her new position as the communications and marketing director, and the ability to work alongside caring women who are looking to make a positive impact on the Pittsburgh community. Alongside her many achievements, Caroline has also been voted to serve on the board for Young Republicans of Allegheny County.
Top Sponsors: Associates Benefit Corporation, The Dailey Method, Family and Friends
42. Justin Grubisha
Pittsburgh’s own “Ironman,” Justin Grubisha has dedicated himself to a life of health and fitness throughout his years at the University of Pittsburgh and beyond. From playing soccer in college to now competing in triathlons, being active allows Justin to remain fit and healthy and continues to teach him how to balance all areas of his life. In 2014, Justin was captain of “Team Ironhorse” for the CMU Donut Dash and a charity bike ride, where he was in charge of organizing a team of people to participate in both events in one weekend, all to benefit LiveLikeLou.org. Justin is also active in other events, including the annual ALS Walk and various fundraisers for Family Resources of Western PA. His work as a financial advisor for Hefen-Tillotson Inc. allowed him to spend two years on Hefren-Tillotson’s United Way campaign committee. Justin remains thankful that his health allows him to do the things he loves, hopes to help those suffering from illnesses to have the same opportunities, and continues his work of making a difference in the lives of others.
Top Supporters: Hefren-Tillotson, Inc., Kim and Curt Fleming, Mom, Dad, Family and Friends
43. Mark Kennison
As a man of action, Mark Kennison did not hesitate to take on a significant role in the redevelopment of the Downtown area of his hometown in Washington County. The entrepreneurial program at Washington and Jefferson College was an ideal opportunity to expand his skill set and further fuel his ambitions. He went from business administrative major to business owner while still in college. Mark co-founded Just Dogs! Gourmet, a high-end dog treat company, with his father during his junior year, which was awarded by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of top 500 hottest franchises in the country. Mark is set to open his fifth business, after the opening of The Upper Crust, The Italian Market, and Rachel Rose’s coffee house and bakery. With the Presidents Pub and Grille set to open late summer, his next big plans led to the creation of a growing real estate development. He continues his ties to his alma mater by sponsoring current college students with various charities, including the half-naked mile for the Salvation Army, and hosts fundraisers for organizations like Washington Literary Council. His plans include traveling the world, but will always call Pittsburgh and “little Washington” home.
Top Supporters: Candy Turner, Sports Clips, Winston McKeever, Men’s Wearhouse, Aaron Bucci, Donley Brick, Ryan Julian, American Glass, Beards Auto, Bar Marco, Family and Friends
44. Courtney Semplice
Strong will and dedication are just two of many traits that Courtney Semplice says she received from her mother. When Courtney was just seven, her father passed away, leaving her mother widowed with three young children. Her mother went back to work, got all three children through college, and set the perfect example for Courtney and her siblings of what hard work and perseverance can achieve. Courtney tries to carry on the traits she has learned from her mother in both her personal and professional life. Courtney graduated Magna Cum Laude from La Roche College, and then later went on to receive her MBA from South University. Professionally, Courtney is one of only three partners within the New York Life Pittsburgh General Office, and is the only female member of the New York Life management team. Outside of work, Courtney is just as active. She plays hockey and flag football, and recently was awarded a bronze medal at the 2015 World Ball Hockey Championships while competing with Team Ireland. While balancing work and sports, Courtney also volunteers and donates to the ALS Association, Camp Erin, March of Dimes, and Purple Stride for Pancreatic Cancer.
Top Supporters: Redbeard’s Bar and Grill, New York Life, Friends and Family, Teammates
45. Josh Pisarcik
As the oldest of eight siblings, Josh Pisarcik learned the value of leadership at an early age. Josh graduated from California University of Pennsylvania with a degree in business administration. After taking on multiple projects as a project engineer with Mascaro Construction Company, he acquired the position as manager of business development, where he currently serves with many noteworthy organizations, including Engineers’ Society of Western PA and Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh. Josh’s role as house captain for Rebuilding Together allows him to build homes and provide a better future for low-income families. Josh leads a very active and healthy lifestyle, as he enjoys playing golf and taking classes to become a yoga instructor. He continues to work hard and raise money for the Foundation in honor of his favorite 8-year-old, Sofia.
Top Supporters: United Rentals, Baden Bolt, Wholesale Builders, Chris Marteney
46. Shelby Allen
As a proud seventh generation dairy farmer from Smock, Pa., Shelby Allen now enjoys surrounding herself with a network of like-minded, diverse professionals in the growing City of Pittsburgh. Shelby earned her degree in communication studies at California University of Pennsylvania, where she concentrated her degree in television and radio. Since moving to Pittsburgh in 2006, Shelby continues to showcase the wonderful city to all of her out of town recruits while working for DICK’S Sporting Goods. While maintaining a solid career as an executive researcher and relocation specialist, Shelby is ready to get involved with charity and give back to her new community.
Top Supporters: Pittsburgh Winery, The Steel Trap, Dickerson Creative Communication, Flume Beauty
47. Justin Heinle
Justin Heinle vowed to provide clients who cannot afford a professional fitness trainer with free services as long as they commit to the goal of getting healthy. After completing his education at California University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s in sports management in 2011, followed by master’s in exercise science in 2012, this young professional successfully launched his own business, Movement 4 You, which has since grown rapidly. Justin’s mission for his business clearly follows his drive in life to help people improve their quality of life as he watches them transform for the better through his training. After moving to the Pittsburgh area after his graduation, Justin is the perfect example on how the city has transformed itself to become a destination for young people like him who hope to start a business and someday raise a family.
48. Leslie Staron
Leslie Staron graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a degree in human resources management. As a growing professional, Leslie is a senior recruiter at Bayer Corporation/Oxford Solutions, Inc., and has volunteered her free time to local professional contacts and Discover HOPE Here by providing career counseling, offering resume review recommendations, conducting LinkedIn training, and providing guidance on interview skills to job seekers in the Pittsburgh area. Just as Pittsburgh is the City of Champions, Leslie strives to help others become champions in their career paths. Those who live and work in Pittsburgh inspire Leslie to share the city with the people of the community who dedicate themselves to pursuing a professional career.
Top Supporters: Doug Austin, The Lithium Battery Company, Marcy Colkitt & Associates, Oxford Solutions, Inc., Family and Friends
49. Rachel Kernic
Rachel Kernic shows immense Pittsburgh pride and a passion for fashion by hosting events in the city’s center. She participates in the annual Glitzburgh fashion show to raise money for organizations like Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and The Children’s Institute. Rachel graduated from Point Park University with a degree in sport, art, and entertainment management and a minor in business administration, and received the Senior of the Year award. Rachel is the event sales manager at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, where she is no stranger to planning and executing fundraisers. She dedicates her life to volunteering and even works part-time for the Pittsburgh Pirates, which allows her to take part in multiple events that raise money for Pirates Charities. You can find Rachel spending her free time in the outdoors, indulging in hiking and white water rafting. She also enjoys live music, traveling, and the occasional wine tasting with friends.
Top Supporters: Family and Friends
50. Julian Vallozzi
Growing up in an Italian family, Julian Vallozzi always knew his grandmother’s delicious homemade pasta would someday be recognized. The Vallozzi family decided to share her food with the City of Pittsburgh, which led to the opening of Vallozzi’s Restaurant. Julian’s commitment to his family and growth holds true as he continues the business’ success by opening up the Downtown location of the restaurant. He remains very humbled and honored to be a part of the growth as he contributes new business ventures, including his restaurant, Earth, and Market Street Grocery. Julian holds a spot on the Board of Directors for Old Joe Club Charities, which is founded by a group of men who were looking to give back to the communities in which they lived. Julian carries out this mantra as he hosts two annual events, Men’s Night Out and a croquet tournament, that raise well over $300,000 for several local charities. Aside from his busy professional life, Julian currently resides Downtown and enjoys being a Pirates season ticket holder.
Top Supporters: Old Joe Club, Westmoreland Croquet Club, Family and Friends